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Harriet An Inspiring Yet Entertaining Tale About an American Hero Grade: B

Source: IMDB


Harriet tells the life story of one of the most iconic American heroes known to man Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo). While Harriet was denied to have her babies born free, giving the idea from her husband whom is a free man. Harriet's slave owner quickly dies just after denying Harriet's request. The slave owner's son Gideon (Joe Alwyn) owns the rights to his father's slaves, as he always had desire to sell Harriet away, given a new motive to place her far away from her husband. Harriet decides to run away, as she wants to become a free gal, even if she has to risk her life in the process. Being a free gal wasn't enough for Harriet, as God calls her out to deliver her moral purpose to her existence... To go back and free hundreds of slaves. Witness a truly courageous woman, whom not only risk her life for the better, but did more as a human being in this world. The Cinematography was fine, a couple shots were out of focus. I do also think the shots in which Harriet had flashbacks or had visions of the future were unnecessary in color, I wasn't feeling the blue picture. I liked the Score of this film, the composed music sounded good and I liked the quick musical numbers when Harriet sang... It sounded pretty good as well. The cast in this film was solid. Cynthia Erivo playing the role of Harriet Tubman was good, it's not going to bring her any Oscar consideration, but she did brought justice towards the role where no one is going to complain about her portrayal of Harriet Tubman. Before going in though I knew little about Harriet, I did know she was an American hero and after seeing this film... I'm happy they decided to make her the face of the $20 bill in the future, she deserves it. She is the perfect representation of what a true American is suppose to be, not only wanting to live in a free life that you deserve, but also risking your life in what you believe in, to benefit and doing good for others. Harriet could've been comfortably fine with being a free gal, which was risky enough. But God wanted more out of Harriet to deliver her moral purpose in existing, as she absolutely did God's work and more. I'm hoping young children will be able to attend this film just to watch this character because we need our youth to take after real heroes. Leslie Odom Jr. playing William Still was good as well, did a lot in his partake in helping many slaves become free. A couple antagonists to talk about. Gideon played by Joe Alwyn played a pretty good performance, a well executed bad guy. I had a fun time watching Omar J. Dorsey playing the role of Bigger Long, despite him being a bad guy, he was quite entertaining every time on screen. A little over the top? Yes, but the way he delivers his lines was quite fun as you can tell he was meant to play this part. His opening scene where the slave owner asked Bigger what he would do with $200 and the way he delivers that line was actually... Gangster?! Lastly Janelle Monáe was good yet again in her small role. I do have some complaints with Harriet. One being I don't believe this story is 100% accurate, as I believe some of it is noticeably fictionalize. Keep in mind no one is alive to tell us the real story of Harriet Tubman, to tell us what was right and wrong, everything taken from this film could be found in history books. But when it's noticeable to the point where I'm sitting in my seat thinking, "I don't believe this"... That's a problem. Of course I believe in her heroic acts, I don't believe that she had visions, like she was Raven Baxter in That's So Raven. I believe she has a strong connection with God and that God talks to her, it's that I don't believe in how she was acquiring messages from God. A quick flaw to mention is the film can get a little silly at points. Harriet is the kind of film people are going to take both ways. You may like it because it's telling an inspiring story about an iconic hero or you may hate because it's not completely accurate to the source material. For me I enjoyed Harriet, I liked this film. I'm happy this film didn't try to be 12 Years a Slave and just be it's own thing. You may see a box office slump in the first week, due to the fact the audience believes this is gonna try another attempt at 12 Years a Slave, like 2016's Birth of a Nation tried to do and failed, as their uncomfortable with the idea of watching that film again. With Harriet audience are going to actually feel a breath of fresh air, as this film is quite a crowd pleaser. It's not going for any award consideration, it's not going for the Oscars... It just wants to be a film people are going to go into to feel inspired and entertained by, as I'm ok with that. Although this film can be categorize as a drama, you can also see elements of being a Western and perhaps a Christian film, so this does have more to offer for the audience. Though I've said this film can be silly at times, some of the silliness works just fine with the story at hand. It's a nice well told story, that is effective in delivering an inspiring tale, yet it can be entertaining as well. I'm surprised by this film and if you're willing to give this a chance, you could be surprised as well. Overall, Harriet is just a good movie. I recommend checking this one out, don't expect anything big, just go in to feel inspired and have a good time. -Mitch Smietana

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